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Common Core Standards: ELA See All Teacher Resources

Grades 11-12

Speaking and Listening SL.11-12.4

Presentation of knowledge and Ideas

SL.11-12.4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.

In the previous standard, students were asked to consider audience and purpose as they presented information in a clear, organized fashion, while offering key summary points and important evidence in an authoritative style. In this standard, we’ll build on this further. The listeners in the audience will hear detailed information about key concepts, differing views, and relevant applications. With practice and confidence, you’ll find your students rising to the challenge.

In the assignment that follows, your students will research an idea, collect and summarize information, shape their oral presentation in an organized manner, and apply the concept to real life. When properly done, their audience will walk away better informed.

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Sample Assignment:

Not to be confused with the word illusion, your teacher has asked you to present information about the term allusion, which is an indirect reference to a person, place, event, book, or character. You’ve noticed that they’re everywhere, and you don’t always understand them. Your teacher explained that it is important to know many of them so that you look smart as you head off to college or go out into the work world. He noted, too, that they appear in movies and social conversations. You know you’re going to need all the help you can get out in that brave new world!

Each student in your class has been assigned a different allusion. Lucky you! You’ve drawn the phoenix.

There are several parts to this formal task. First, research must be done to discover the original source, or use, of the allusion. Then, a brief summary needs to be written about the story. The broad concept must be explained. Next, any alternative perspectives should be presented. How does the allusion play out from one culture to another? Are there differences and alternate viewpoints? Finally, modern examples must be given that relate to the symbol of the allusion. You will write this in a speech format. You will use just one note page on the LCD projector, and provide links to that note as you present your work to your classmates. With your classmates, about 30 different allusions will be studied. You’ll be creating a sort of an Allusion for Dummies collection.

After researching the phoenix, you learn that many cultures, including Arabian, Persian, Greek, Roman, and Chinese, mention the bird. But most recognize the legendary fowl as part of Egyptian mythology. The bird, that is said to have been able to live for hundreds of years, produces a new feathered friend when it dies. Many say the phoenix represents immortality or life after death. A phoenix literally “rises from its own ashes” to be reborn. On a broader scale, the phoenix can represent any person that shows strength and resiliency in the face of fire and danger. Think Harry Potter.

You also find many modern day connections. For example, you read the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The author writes about a phoenix, alluding to the ways in which man can repeat what he does over and over again the same way the phoenix recycles itself. The bird is a character in at least two video games: “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Phoenix Arcade Game.” There are many other uses: University of Phoenix, an online school; NASA’s Phoenix Land Mars Lander; a Grammy Award winning band from Versailles; the Boston Phoenix, a newspaper; and, Phoenix, Arizona.

As each student presents, listeners will fill out a four-column cheat sheet: Allusion, Original Source/Summary, Broad Concept, and Current Examples. This will help organize the large body of information about to be delivered.

(Hint: Don’t take the chart with you on your next date, just to look smart. Memorize a few. We’re just sayin’.)

Drill 1

Short Answer:

1. Which three parts of this standard would be considered first in the process?
2. What are the keys to answering questions in a report, presentation, or discussion?
3. Describe the meaning of multiple perspectives.

1. Consideration of purpose, audience, and genre of the task would first be considered.
2. Keys in answering any question is providing information in the form of a claim, which must then be supported by details and analysis, and drawing conclusions.
3. Perspective refers to the viewpoint from which something is seen. Because people are different, individuals may have different perspectives on issues and subjects. Thus, alternate viewpoints, as well as opposing viewpoints, must be considered.

Aligned Resources

More standards from Grades 11-12 - Speaking and Listening